The public school system of the City of Peekskill was awarded a grant to establish an extended day program for advanced placement 5th and 6th graders. The Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art is proud to be one of the after-school venues.

The unique mission of the Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art is to highlight contemporary cutting edge art by both well known, as well as emerging, artists, and to explore its impact on and interconnection with cultural, political, historic and social issues on a global level.

LEAP Goals
This program is designed to offer an enriched arts, literature and humanities curriculum. Using the exhibitions at the HVCCA, educators and students participate in in-depth discussions, written documentation, analysis of primary source materials, integration of political and historical data and creative writing endeavors as well as leadership and teacher training techniques. The goal is to offer not only art enrichment, but also a long view of the arts as a corridor to improved abilities in the language arts as well as conceptual thought process.

Due to its intense academic component, the course is offered to advanced placement 5th and 6th graders from the Hillcrest School in Peekskill. Optimal class size is set at 18, with two dynamic young artists/teachers, a master educator, one intern/student teacher who is a graduating Peekskill High School senior (2 days a week), and one Manhattanville College student-teacher (1 day a week).

Students arrive at HVCCA about 3:30 pm and remain until 6:00 pm. A dedicated half hour of homework time benefits students both through tutorial help offered as well as gaining the discipline of reviewing their academic work at the end of the school day. Following the homework period varied extracurricular and enrichment activities are then offered.

Techniques to be incorporated
-VUE: Discipline in the art of “looking”.
-Blooms Taxonomy and training in process logic/Socratic reasoning.
-Cooperative learning.
-Leadership techniques drawn from The Princeton Leadership program.

End of Semester Projects
1) A docent manual incorporating biographical and art analysis components as well as suggested techniques for involving others in the process of “reading into” the works.
2) An art newsletter integrating current events and art works.

Semester Class breakdown
Three topics will be address in individual modules.

  1. Environmental issues
  2. Biological issues
  3. Ethnography/History

Within each module, overall questions that will be addressed include:

  1. How do we identify something as a work of art?
  2. What role do many of these artists see themselves as having in society, beyond the overt construction of works of art?
  3. What has defined someone as an artist in the past?
  4. Has the role of the artist changed?